The idea of bringing Boys & Girls Clubs to Thurston County (BGCTC) originated in the late 1990s through a vision and dream held by a group of community leaders, who kept asking this question:  “How could we have a state Capitol without a Boys & Girls Club?”

By 2000, significant fundraising efforts and the formation of the first BGCTC Board were complete. Through efforts of Steve Boone, Lacey Youth Task Force, Colleen Gillespie, the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, Dr. Tony Agtarap, Jamie Will, and many others, feasibility studies and fundraising efforts intensified. Tumwater School District offered a portable building as an initial Club location and the Club opened. Under the guidance of board member Ron Rants, in 2004 a second club opened in Rochester with the help of a federal Weed & Seed Grant, and the Weiss family was instrumental in the creation of the Lacey Club (2007) followed by Olympia opening in 2009. Club memberships initially were offered only to middle school students; however, membership grew quickly and began welcoming all school-aged kids in 2004 and by Fall 2011 grew to over 2000 kids registered under the leadership of Executive Director Joe Ingoglia. Growth continued as the Tenino Club opened during a perfect milestone as the organization celebrated its 15th anniversary September 2016. Shellica Trevino, BGCTC’s Director of Operations, reflects “Our growth and progress was possible because of those who worked tirelessly to develop our staff, build relationships with the community, and provide to youth what they need most — people who care about them. The support of the community is also shown through volunteer hours, in-kind donations, and monetary donations given to support the youth served.”

Looking ahead to the future Katya Miltimore, BGCTC’s Executive Director states, “We will continue to build our community relationships with the school districts so we can bring our safe Clubs and exciting programs to children throughout the county.”